All you need to know



Prof. Dr. Rens van de Schoot works as full professor 'Statistics for Small Data Sets' at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and as extra-ordinary professor North-West University in South-Africa. He has become a member of the Young Academy of The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). This is group of fifty top-researchers (age below 45) selected based on the quality of their research as well as on the ability to communicate science to a broad audience. It is an association inviting only the most-inspiring, academically challenging scholars from any discipline to become a member. He uses this position to promote responsible research practices and transparency amongst scholars, as well as a healthy working environment for scholars in the project called “Livingroom of Science”.

Rens obtained his PhD cum laude on the topic of applying Bayesian statistics to real life data at the Methodology and Statistics department at Utrecht University, The Netherlands. His dissertation was received the APA-award for best dissertation of the division of Quantitative and Qualitative Methods. During his PhD, he advocated the interests of PhD-students within the university as chair of the PhD-council Prout. Rens is also past-president of the Early Researchers Union of the European Association of Developmental Psychology. Before his PhD, Rens had completed a research master programme in Development and Socialization of Children and Adolescents, also cum laude.

In his current research, he focuses on several topics. On the topic of using expert-data to deal with small samples, Rens has received the highly regarded, prestigious VIDI grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) to start one’s own research group. The VIDI grant is awarded to outstanding scholars only: exclusively the top 5% of the international peer group can get this type of funding allocated to them.

Rens takes center stage in the cross section of science and society. He is member of the program board of the think-tank called the  FD young circle, scholars, business people and civil servants are collaborating together to find answers to contemporary challenges in Dutch society. Also, he is affiliated with the Dutch National Research Agenda, an organisation collecting questions of curious individuals living in The Netherlands and answers those questions through science. Rens wrote a section in the book resulting from the 2015 questions.

Rens takes center stage in the cross section of science and society.

To stimulate further improvement in science, he organises conferences and is an editor in several specialised journals. Rens is currently the chairman of the Dutch Mplus Users Group, part of the Mplus’s South African division, and a member of the International Multilevel Conference organizing committee. He is associate editor of the European Journal of Developmental Psychology; topic editor for Frontiers in Psychology; and statistical adviser for the European Journal of Psychotraumatology.

Furthermore, Rens van de Schoot works as a statistical consultant on multivariate statistics, structural equation modeling and Bayesian statistics. Specifically, Rens is involved in ongoing consultation projects for the University of Vienna (department of Educational Psychology); North-West University in South-Africa; the Association of Dutch Burns Centres (VSBN); Rutgers Nisso Foundation; and the Netherlands Centre for Graduate and Research Schools in The Netherlands.

Rens is a highly enthusiastic and an ambitious person. His supervision style is characterized by providing adequate support, while also stimulating autonomy in his (PhD-)students. Rens shows sincere interest in someone’s professional, as well as personal development. Openness and transparency in research activities are emphasized by him.

Marthe Egberts

PhD Student
I’ve come to know Rens as an enthusiastic and inspirational person, with a true passion for research. He’s very ambitious in trying to improve research practices within the whole field of social sciences and is persistent in promoting the discussion on research ethics among researchers. As he once claimed himself: “We should realize that there’s no golden standard for how to be mr./ms. Perfect in research. Start, however, with having open and transparent discussions."

Rianne van Dijk

PhD student
It is hard not to get affected by Rens’ enthusiasm. He turns problems into challenges and opportunities.

Duco Veen

PhD student
It’s not just Rens his passion for research that stands out: his positive personality and sincere interest in the people he works with is admirable. Although swamped with tons of work himself, he will always make time to give you advice and he is glad to help. Moreover, Rens is eager in promoting and supporting the general well-being of his scholars. To me, it is a privilege to know and work together with such an encouraging and considerate person.

Rianne van Dijk

PhD student
I think Rens is a person who will always try to figure out how he can make your day, career, or even life, better. Even if he has a lot going on in his own life, he will always take the time to listen to your problems and try to help you. I see him as a mentor and role model, not just because he is a great academic, but because he is a great human being.

Sonja D. Winter

PhD student / Junior Researcher
Rens is an energetic and inspiring researcher and teacher. He is always open to new ideas, introduces interesting issues in science and involves his students in his work.

Naomi Schalken

Student Assistant
As a supervisor, Rens focuses on more than just short term success and results. He provides an environment to grow as a researcher and a person.

Duco Veen

PhD student
Rens is a very approachable, enthousiastic and inspiring supervisor. He is able to explain very difficult matter in very easy terms and he provides constructive feedback. He is very active as a scientist, but also in his personal life.

Inge Zweers

PhD Student